Holiday® grape season only lasts a few months, but growing those extra-large, super-sweet berries is a year-round process in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The expert growers at Columbine® Vineyards work with nature to make sure every grape is a fresh, pop of perfection. That attention to detail comes from a nearly hundred-year legacy of quality, care and sustainable growing practices.
Columbine Vineyards is an industry leader with a regenerative approach to growing our grapes. Here’s a look at some of the methods we use to grow and harvest Holiday grapes year after year.
The best quality grapes need the best quality soil. Soil health is an exact science, and the team is in the fields most days, carefully checking things like nutrients and water. We track moisture levels regularly to more efficiently use water. Every year, we prepare the soil using methods that retain more carbon. With more carbon, soil can hold more moisture.
Columbine Vineyards was one of the first vineyards to implement drip irrigation. This system uses less water and keeps valuable nutrients in the soil for the vines. As the name suggests, drip irrigation lets water slowly drip to the roots, minimizing evaporation. We continue to use and perfect technologies that conserve water and give the vines exactly as much as they need to thrive and grow.
We developed a reduced-tillage program, which means we rely less on tractors in the fields to turnover soil, minimizing vulnerability to erosion and allowing us to hold more carbon in the soil. When we do need transportation in the fields, we use solar and electric vehicles.
Our sustainable growing practices also protect local wildlife, contributing to a thriving, diverse ecosystem in the Central Valley. With a deep legacy started by a farming family nearly 100 years ago, we see ourselves as stewards of this ecosystem, and we work to keep the land, air and water healthy. We use an integrated and preventative program to control pests, to reduce the need for pesticides.
We’re also Certified Fish Friendly Farmers. This certification means that our vineyards work to restore habitats for fish and improve water quality.
Our commitment to sustainability continues outside the fields. We keep Holiday grapes chilled after harvest in our energy-efficient cold storage facility, to make sure they reach your neighborhood store still at their sweet, juicy peak.
We’ve also swapped corrugated cardboard in place of styrofoam for the secondary packaging that carries our Holiday grapes to stores. We have implemented a large-scale recycling program, while continuing to focus on waste-reduction packaging options on the consumer side.
From before planting to harvest, sustainability is a part of every step of our process. Every September to December, you can taste the love that goes into growing delicious Holiday grapes. Try them this season and tell us what you think!